Re: (IAAC) FWD: What should I buy?

>:>Hello, my name is Netzer Baram and I am a highschool student (15). I am
>:>interested in deep sky observing. I have about $400 dollars to spend and
>:>I want to know, what should I invest in. Would a 10X50 binoculars do?
>Netzer, For my money I would choose the 6 inch Dob Newtonian. It's easy to
>set up and will give you much more pleasure and let you see deeper than
>binoculars.  Although I have to say that I used my binoculars in conjunction
>with my Dob, but if I was going to choose either as far as deep sky
>observing, my 10X50's would have to go, and my Dob would stay.  You can view
>comets, planets, galaxies, nebulae, doubles, and other goodies with the 6
>inch. It should fit in most trunks.  Try Orion Scopes at 1 800 447 1001 if
>you haven't gotten their catalog yet. Or, try their website at
>http://www.oriontel.com   Good luck and let us know when you get something!
>Happy viewing!
>Penny Fischer, lat. 40 N.
As much as I champion binocular observing (I own 9x63's, 10x50's and
20x80's and use them often) I have to agree with Penny, providing that you
are already somewhat familiar with the sky and have an easily accessible
dark site.  However, let  me up the ante by suggesting to you to save a bit
more money and get an 8" f/6 Dob instead.  Sadly, the excellent Starmaster
7" f/5.6 Dob will no longer be manufactured but you might try looking for a
used one on Astromart or the Astronomy-Mall (links on the ASH home page
http://www.msd.org/ash2_hp.htm).  Budget for at least one short focal
length (i.e. "high" power) Ploessl, Koenig, or orthoscopic eyepiece of
about 10 to 12mm, a Barlow lens and a finder scope and/or Telrad or similar
1x refles sight aiming device.  And get a good observing guide (Phil
Harrington's _The Deep Sky: An Introduction_ is as good as any that I've
seen) and a star atlas (Tirion's Bright Star Atlas 2000.0 would be an
inexpensive one to start out with).
Look to the skies,
Dave Mitsky
ASH S4 Star Party  8/21-22/98  Duncannon, PA (contact Joe O'Haren at